I Never Knew Why

Larry was considered a “slow learner” and was allowed to quit school in the 6th grade. As his younger sister, I was a nuisance to him and he wanted nothing to do with me. He ridiculed me and called me names. Our parents never disciplined him.

I never knew why.

If I tattled on him for being mean to me, I was hushed and told to leave him alone. He never learned to drive and never did a day’s work. He did nothing but sit around, eat and smoke cigarettes and let the ashes fall in the floor. Our mother waited on him hand and foot, cooked for him and always had a broom in her hand. ready to sweep up his falling cigarette ashes.

I never knew why

He went so far as to tear the head off of my favorite doll. He also beheaded my favorite cat, Thomasina. He drowned another little kitten in a tub of water, while I was in the hospital. I was having my appendix removed.He left both little lifeless bodies for me to find. I was 9 years old. He was never disciplined.

I never knew why.

He would stand on the bed, all 250 lbs of him, naked and scream something that sounded like some ancient unknown tongue. He had delusions that he was wrestler “Black Jack Mulligan” and anyone in his way was his next opponent. He had hallucinations that he had killed babies and robbed people at gunpoint. He asked every female in the family, in his words, to marry him. Our own Mother called for help once. She said he did something to her. She never pressed charges.

I never knew why.

Our Dad had to physically tie his hands and feet together while the local police stood outside and could do nothing until someone reported that a crime had been committed. If an ambulance was called for him and they brought enough men to load him up, once in the ER, the staff would run from him. Nobody would help our Dad hold him down.

I never knew why.

He was committed to a psychiatric hospital for only short periods of time, then released back to the family.The trained psychiatrists and doctors declared him “cured” with about 10 various prescriptions of anti-psychotic drugs. When he “went off”, the family had to call the local health department, who in turn had to call the state mental health department and leave a message for them to call us back.,during which time, he was being tied up or held down by our Dad. We could get no medical or legal help. It always happened on a weekend or holiday when no one was in their office.

I never knew why.

He came out of his bedroom one night, screaming and cursing. He woke our aging Dad up and was holding him across the couch. He had his hands around Dad’s throat, choking him. My older sister was beating my brother on the back, screaming for him to stop. He finally stopped, sat his naked ass down in a chair and had a diet coke. He was not arrested.

I never knew why.

We visited him for 30 years in various mental hospitals, halfway houses and state-run programs.We were never physically hurt and we never disowned him. We, his family, still visit him in an assisted living facility and we love him dearly.

I will never know why.

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